When Washington residents submitted Initiative 2081 to the legislature, they wanted to create what supporters called a "Parent's Bill of Right"

Initiative 2081 provided parents with a right to review educational materials, receive certain notifications, and opt out of sexual health education. According to BallotPedia, I-2081 provided parents the right to:

  • review textbooks, curriculum, and supplemental materials used in their child's classroom;
  • inspect and receive a copy of their child's records within 10 days of a written request;
  • receive prior notification of medical services offered to their child, except in emergencies;
  • be informed about any medical services or medications provided to their child with potential financial impact;
  • be notified of medical treatment arranged by the school resulting in follow-up care beyond normal hours;
  • be notified of criminal actions involving or committed by their child;
  • be notified if law enforcement questions their child, except in cases of parental abuse or neglect accusations;
  • be notified if their child is taken from school without parental permission;
  • be assured that the school will not discriminate against their child based on sincerely held religious beliefs;
  • opt-out students from certain surveys, assignments, and instructional topics, including those related to sexuality;
  • receive the annual school calendar and be notified of any revisions; and
  • receive information on required fees, dress code, and academic performance threatening promotion.

Now, several organizations are suing the State of Washington to block I-2081 from implementation in June.

I-2081 was an Initiative to the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative.  Lawmakers could approve it, offer an alternative or ignore it and allow voters to decide it's fate in November.  The legislature gave I-2081 bipartisan approval and it takes effect June 6th.

The American Civil Liberties of Washington, Q-law, and Legal Voice have filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 plaintiffs, including the Lavender Rights Project, Sexual Violence Law Center, Moms Rising and South Whidbey School District to block implementation.

The legal advocates claim in a press release the initiative is in conflict with privacy laws and could “result in harm to LGBTQ+ students, youth of color, and students from other marginalized backgrounds.”

The ACLU alleges I-2081 violates the state constitution.

NW News Network quoted ACLU Staff Attorney Adrien Leavitt “Our state constitution requires that new laws properly identify how they impact existing laws, and 2081 fails to do that,” said Leavitt. "The way that the initiative was written is confusing, and it's vague and it's misleading — and it doesn't explain what important rights that it actually impacts for the youth that attend our state's public schools."

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The Initiative was sponsored by Let’s Go Washington.

Let’s Go Washington founder Brian Heywood called the lawsuit antidemocratic.

“The ACLU has made their disdain for the democratic process abundantly clear,” Heywood said. “We expect [Attorney General] Bob Ferguson to uphold his duty within the law to protect the will of the people and shut down this frivolous attempt by the ACLU to deprive parents of their civil liberties.”


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